BIMM 101: Recombinant DNA Techniques

Biology Academy 2017

Welcome to BIMM 101: Recombinant DNA Techniques!

Course website:

Syllabus: Please see more information on TritonEd course website 

Instructor and mentors

Instructor: Jenny Herndon

Teaching assistants: TBA

Mentors: TBA

Course description

BIMM 101 will introduce several key methods that are used in a typical molecular biology laboratory, focusing on the techniques and concepts that involve cloning DNA plasmid constructs and the analysis of DNA/RNA samples. The laboratory work will consist of four multi-day projects. We will begin by cloning and expressing a bacterial enzyme that exhibits luminescence, and then explore the efficiency of different promoter sequences in a synthetic biology project. Next, we will use an RNA interference (RNAi) technique in C. Elegans to induce knock-down of a particular gene, and finally, a sample of our own DNA will be analyzed to determine our particular genotype for the “PTC tasting trait” or ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC).

Learning in this course

Since this is an introductory lab course, all lab work will emphasize the learning of basic lab skills and good lab technique. By performing these experiments, you will also have the opportunity to practice the principles of quality scientific methodology. These include using proper controls in designing experiments/interpreting results, keeping an accurate and complete record of all experiments in a lab notebook, and the ability to troubleshoot a procedure when the expected results are not forthcoming.

The periodic in-class quizzes contain any material that is found in the lab manual or covered in lecture, and are designed to assess your understanding of the experiments as they unfold. Be sure to focus on understanding the purpose of the current lab project and how each experiment fits into this, the basic concepts underlying the procedures (not simply procedural details), and simple mathematical and analytical skills based on what you have actually done in lab.

Course requirements and grading

Your grade will be determined from the following:


5 Quizzes (50pts each)


Pre-Lab Quizzes (8 total @ 5 pts each)


5 Written Assignments (50 or 70 pts each)


7 Classwork Assignments (5-15 pts each)


Participation/Lab Responsibility


Final Exam


Class Point Total









 Exact boundaries will be determined based on final grade distributions.

Academic integrity

Integrity of scholarship is essential for an academic community. The University expects that both faculty and students will honor this principle and in so doing protect the validity of University intellectual work. For students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind. Any student who is caught cheating on a quiz or the final exam will automatically receive a zero and will be reported to the Office of Academic Integrity.

 Accessibility and inclusion | | 858-534-4382

Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) which is located in University Center 202 behind Center Hall.  Students are required to present their AFA letters to Faculty (please make arrangements to contact me privately) and to the OSD Liaison in the department in advance so that accommodations may be arranged.